Apply for a letter of comfort
You can apply for a letter of comfort for some building work carried out without a warrant.
Use this service to apply for a letter of comfort:
- For unauthorised work carried out before 1 May 2005
- For work carried out with a building warrant but no certificate of completion was given before the warrant expired
Who will accept a letter of Comfort?
The letter is normally accepted by solicitors and lenders for house sales and mortgage applications.
Before you start
Unauthorised works carried out prior to 1 May 2005 will be charged as follows:
- Works up to the value of £50,000 a flat fee of £555.90 will be payable. This covers the initial inspection and 1 return visit if necessary.
- Any additional inspections will be charged at £165.55 per visit
- For works where the floor area of the property has not been increased, the minimum fee will apply
The value of work will be estimated in accordance with the BCIS Quarterly publication of construction costs. The inspecting surveyor will measure the works when they visit the property, and the applicant will be advised if there is any adjustment required to the fee due to incorrect measurements.
As a result of the inspection, we may require the applicant to provide third party certification for the works, such as a structural design certificate from a qualified structural engineer. Where electrical works have been carried out, these may be required to be tested and certified by an approved electrician and a copy of the electrical certificate passed to the building standards surveyor prior to the letter of comfort being issued.
Remedial works may be required in cases where minimum building standards have not been met. The inspecting surveyor will advise if any works are required in order to obtain the letter of comfort.
Expired Building Warrants
Works carried out with the benefit of a building warrant, applied for prior to 1 May 2005, which has subsequently expired without a certificate of completion being issued can be covered using the letter of comfort system, providing that the works have been carried out entirely in accordance with the stamped approved plans issued with the original building warrant.
The fee for this service is £322.60. This will cover administration, the initial survey and one subsequent inspection if required. Any further inspections will be charged at £165.55 per inspection. If the works are not in accordance with the approved plans then the fee charged will revert to the fees for unauthorised works above.
Building works undertaken over 25 years ago
Works carried out over 25 years ago can be covered by a letter of comfort. The fee for this service is £165.55 and does not require a survey or inspection. Evidence that works were carried out more than 25 years will be required before a letter of comfort will be issued.
What happens next?
We'll only provide the letter of comfort when we carry out an inspection and we're satisfied the work meets minimum building standards, or you complete further work to bring it up to current building standards.
The letter of comfort scheme will cover works up to a value of £50,000.
Any unauthorised works valued above £50,000 will require a formal Late Completion application together with plans and certification as may be required to assess the works. Contact Building Services for more advice.